Redneck #1 Review
Written by Donny Cates
Art by Lisandro Estherren
Colours by Dee Cunniffe
Reviewed by Lorna Maltman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A family of vampires in the south – and not the elegant kind – that is just asking for trouble! This series follows the vampire family of the Bowmans and the Bowmans have lived in Sulphur Springs, East Texas since before there was a Sulphur Springs.
Cates artfully sets up the family dynamic with the main protagonist (middle aged father) Bartlett, the mind reading daughter Perry, brother J.V., (I think) three nephews and of course the grandpa vampire in the attic (please be called Nosferatu!). The relationships that are established in this issue feel like they have a real and deep untold history and it is this, weaved with some good old fashioned rivalries and the southern small town, that make for a brilliant story.
The three nephews want to have a night on the town as they feel cooped up by their father J.V. This results in them encountering their family’s rival, the Landry’s, which ends in disaster, but probably not in the way you would think and the reader much like our protagonist have no idea how exactly we reached the violent ending. This ending leaves mysteries and questions to be answered but also sets up the family conflicts that make will make this comic great.
Estherren’s art is brilliantly simple- it captures the rough nature of the vampiric family, but the facial expressions bring real emotion to the characters, even J.V., who looks like Yosemite Sam. Cunniffe’s colours are utilised to create nuance and, in parts, lighter tone to what could have easily been a dark scene and I am impressed that this is achieved even though most of the book is different shades of blue.
Buy. As Cates says in the afterword/letter section, this book is about blood rivalries and we have only scratched the surface of what I am 98% sure is a book you will want to pick up. This being due to the layers already on display, in addition to the fact that they are vampires who drink Bloodweiser’s, come on! This is a beautiful book that should be read, even if you are tired of the vampire trope as this is not a book about vampires (hardly touched on in the issue), but about family and deep rooted hatred.